Saatchi and Saatchi has been given a huge vote of confidence by Norwich
Union by landing the pounds 10 million task to launch the insurance
giant into the direct market.
Just one week after severing its short-lived link-up with Virgin by
selling its 50 per cent stake in the Virgin Direct joint venture,
Norwich Union has revealed plans to take on Direct Line head-to-head by
offering car and home insurance over the phone.
Norwich Union Direct will be launched in January with a major television
and press campaign fronted by the actor/comedian, John Cleese. The work
was created by a team including the Charlotte Street creative director,
Adam Kean, and directed by John Lloyd through Limelight. Media buying is
The work will draw on the ‘protect’ theme established in last year’s
Saatchis campaign for Norwich Union, which featured shots of the Great
Wall of China. Now the central idea is ‘We’ll protect for less’.
Adam Crozier, Saatchis’ joint chief executive, said: ‘We are trying to
find a way through what will be a cluttered and undifferentiated market.
We will be trying to turn the idea of using a celebrity on its head.’
Norwich Union’s move is the latest in a series of announcements by major
financial institutions that they are to launch direct insurance arms,
which may result in a potential bonanza for agencies.
Legal and General and the Prudential are both looking to increase
support for their direct services. Meanwhile, Abbey National is also
planning a major move into the general insurance market.
The benchmark against which all the new advertising will be measured is
TBWA’s pounds 14 million Direct Line work, featuring its famous red